Keeping Your Personal Information Safe
- Thieves can use even the most mundane of personal details to
help them "verify" that they are someone they aren't, and one of
the most common ways of obtaining personal details is
"bin-raiding". This is surprisingly common in affluent areas and
is spreading out of towns to the countryside; with 75% of local
authorities now admitting it happens regularly in their area.
- An exercise carried out with the support of Nottingham City
Council and local authorities involved analyzing the contents of
hundreds of household trash bins to see what people were
throwing away. It found that 86% of domestic rubbish contained
information helpful to fraudsters.
- Three quarters of the of the bins that were checked contained
the full name and address of at least one person from that
household, while 20% of bins contained a bank account number and
sort code that could be linked to the name and address of a
person from the house.
- Don't keep all of your bills, receipts, and other personal
documents in an obvious place, if you can lock it away. If you
don't have anywhere to lock it, try and keep it somewhere out of
the way, or separate it out. Consider investing in a shredder.
- Identity thieves will also try to dupe you into giving
personal information either in person, over the phone, or by
using official sounding e-mails. And of course, personal
computers can hold plenty of information useful to fraudsters.
- Be wary. Be suspicious of anyone seeking too much personal
information, and don't be afraid to challenge them by asking
"why do you need those details?" - a legitimate enquirer won't
mind you asking. Make sure you store all important documents and
details, such as your birth certificate, insurance information,
receipts, and bank statements, in a safe place.
- Anything containing personal information that you intend to
throw out should be destroyed before it is put into the garbage.
Using a household paper shredder is not taking things too far.
If you think you have become the victim of an identity thief,
report it to the police, local authorities, and relevant
Governmental departments or companies immediately.
- Keep personal information in "encrypted" folders on your
computer. Encryption scrambles the contents of your chosen
folder so it cannot be read by anyone else. You can "unscramble"
the contents by using a password. Many well-known software
companies offer free downloads to help you with encryption, or
encryption can be an option under your standard operating system.
- Consider installing "personal firewall" software on your
computer to stop online intruders or "hackers" from accessing
information on your PC.
Stay safe! Visit http://www.UrbanSafetySupplies.com and
http://www.HiTechHiddenCameras.com for all of your self defense
and security item needs.